The first day of school should be a welcoming experience for students in your classroom. Providing positive energy and feedback to students on their first day in your classroom will set the foundation for effective classroom management during the school year. The second day of school should be the setting of the rules and classroom behaviors that are appropriate in your learning environment. Having a proactive plan of action around classroom management will create the framework for developing and expecting positive student behavior.
Teachers should have a framework of the 3Rs (Rules, Regulations and Responsibility) combined with the expectations of the 3As (Action, Accountability and Assessment), Below are classroom management strategies that will reinforce your framework of management and create a learning environment of meaningful experiences for students with special needs and their teachers.
The AAA’s of Classroom Management
- Action – Teachers should create a plan of action in the classroom. The action plan should include learning goals; expected classroom behaviors; consequences of inappropriate behavior; appropriate behavioral skills; rules of the road for classroom behavior; lesson plans that engage and instruct; and a clear and individualized action plan for special needs students that is inclusive of identified behaviors in his/her IEP.
- Accountability – Holding students accountable individually and as a class will provide that "we are family" feeling of inclusion. Students need to take ownership of their learning experiences and of their behavioral outcomes in the classroom. Having them maintain a reflective journal to track their on task and off task behavior on a daily or weekly summary basis will provide both qualitative and quantitative feedback for student and parent conferences. Teachers should be accountable in enforcing rules and expectations in the classroom for all students.
- Assessment – The assessment process should include not only academic evaluation, but behavioral expectations as well. Both teachers and students can create notebooks that provide categorized data on academic and behavioral compliance. For example, if during the 1st week of school, students have completed all assignments (total of 5), then the assignment category will include the number 5 for all assignments completed along with a formative evaluation indicating grading outcome. Assessments should also include a diversity of approaches in evaluating student performance. Provide differentiation in instruction and assessment of special needs students to provide a more accurate picture of overall performance.